International Ski Mountaneering Federation answers Kilian Jornet´s statement from Skimo World Cup 2017 at Cambre d´Aze
The Skimo World Cup 2017 completed its second leg this weekend at Cambre d’Aze. Laetitia Roux and Robert Antonioli were the official winners at yesterday´individual after the stormy award ceremony, where the three top senior men (Jornet, Lenzi, Eydallin) were disqualified. Later on, Kilian Jornet issued a personal statement on the reason why the original men´s podium did not agree with the penaly given to Damiano Lenzi and thus chose to stand out voluntarily, as well as his own personal concerns regarding negative Skimo world cup evolution symptoms.
Due to its global audience, the ISMF has chosen to issue its statement this afternoon explanining in more detail their point of view of the incident as well as the reason why for decisions made regarding the past, present and future of the Skimo World Cup, the evolution towards the Olympic Games and more. Due to both documents interest, please find them herebelow in chronological order. First Kilian Jornet statement on JAN 28th, then ISMF reply on JAN 31st.
KILIAN JORNET SATEMENT AT CAMBRE D´AZE JAN 28TH.
I want to make an statement of what happen today during the World Cup in Cambre d’Aze and our disqualification. First of all I want to congratule the organisation of the race in Cambre d’Aze, they did an amazing job to make a great race in a very short time and I want to thank all volunteers and organizers!
Damiano Lenzi and I were fighting all the race and at the last meters he pass me and finish 2 seconds in front. Matteo Eydallin arrives 3rd. In the publication of the results Lenzi had a penalty of 1 minute, becoming 2nd, so me as the winner. The referee tells him it was because he did closed one binding just after the transition area. He said he did not and me and Eydallin trust him, we were discussing that with the referee for long when they did the flower ceremony (by the way it was not at the time of the program) it was not still clear for us so we did not go up.
During the afternoon the Italians show a video of the transition area where we can see Lenzi trying to close the binding before he gets out and checking if it was well closed just after the exit.
Just before the official ceremony, at 17:30, we had a meeting with our coaches, ISMF officials and referee. They said to us that all the 3 (Lenzi, Matteo and me) were disqualified because we did not show up at the flower ceremony. They recognize the penalty it was not a athlete fault and it should’t be a penalty at 1st time, as the video show, but the rules about not showing on flower ceremony are disqualification. They also suggest to us to not make much noise about. I don’t really care about the decision of the disqualification because it was a great race and fight and I have more motivation on some other projects than the final world cup rank, but for other athletes it can cut the motivation to follow the world cup, became world champion.
We accept the disqualification but when some thinks don’t work for long time some moment they need to go public.
Since the priority of ISMF has been to put ski mountaineering in olympics, it looks they have start to construct the house by the roof. Instead of making a more comprehensible and logical sport for the athletes and spectators, more accessible to medias and following the construction of the sport same pace as it gets more professional, we can see now a sport that has been overpassed from nonlogical rules, complicated regulations, shorter and less interesting races for the popular competitors and less communication because the federation sell the image rights to a communication company but not any TV or media want to pay expensive to have images of skimo, so the few minutes we had in skimo before in medias are decreasing.
Since 5-6 years this kind of problems has arrived always in the races when it has been the same referees, In this sport, when the organisations are on a big part volunteers and the conditions in the mountains are challenging and can not been fairly controlled all the way, the mistakes can come from the athletes some times, but some times come because the marking, the organisation mistakes or referee mistakes and some referees have the flexibility ore vision to see if it was an athlete mistake or form another factor. Some not. One of them by the way is working and paid by the FFME (French federation) and international referee at the same time, with some side part decisions.
Athletes train professionally, by passion. Organisations gives always 100% to make a great race. And it can be mistakes, from athletes side or organisation side, but some referees are sometimes really strict to the regulations on some sporting rules, that sometimes, as this case, it was not real, but don’t say nothing about other situations off the regulations that are on their organizing decisions. Only for the example of this week end: The rules said one refreshment on the race, the referee was not on knowledge of this rule and it was the swiss coach who asked in the briefing, at the end it was 2 refreshment points, what it is off rules. The transition platform where Lenzi get the penalty had not a “exit” line. The Open race was time scheduled to colapse with female race. And or the sprints the start time of qualifications is 8AM, when regulations sais the races need to start after 9AM.
As athletes we believe in the fair play and if someone need a penalty we are the first to say, but is not logical that referees are putting penalties and changing podiums on many races because mistakes of them or the organisations, markings of the races… when all the athletes (the affected and the competitors) are against.
We has been sending our concerns to the ISMF by the regular ways (Athletes committee and national federations since some years and we have get nice words but not any regulations or referee changes, so we think maybe the only way to try to change thinks is to make public our concerns.
Thank you very much for reading that, and anyway, today it was a good, a great fight, a great race and tomorrow it will be more mountains to ski. And if the World Cups continues to this self – destruction way, it will always be great races as Pierra Menta, Mezzalama, Rutor…
THE ISMF LETTER TO ALL STAKEHOLDERS. JAN 31ST.
To all ISMF stakeholders
Villanova M.vì, 31 January 2017
The episode of last week during the second ISMF World Cup individual race, finished with the disqualification of three athletes and the various positions that were written against the decision taken, gives the ISMF the occasion to invite all the people who freely wrote their ideas to reflect
on some key points:
1. The Rules
When it was decided that ski mountaineering had to become a competitive sport and not only a leisure activity, it was necessary to write the rules as in all the other sports. Some of them were written to solve security problems, to avoid accidents (as the weight of the skies and boots, the use of crampons, the use of the rope…), others to reduce the risk of some too much competitive behaviour of the athletes, others to improve the quality of the races and others to protect the health of the athletes and increase the fight against the doping and, above all, to ensure equal conditions for all competitors.
The rules are the result of a long process that starts with a working group that, at the end of each year, analyzes what has happened during the season and proposes changes on that subject. These changes, in the end, are approved by the association members of the ISMF. In this democratic process, athletes are present because they have direct representation in the management bodies of the ISMF and in the working group that studies the proposals. The sporting rules are the law for an athlete or a coach; they have been written for the athletes and not against them…. and so they must be respected for the credibility of our sport.
2. The Referees
The ISMF Referees are a group of people with great skill and experience, who have attended the ISMF Referee Courses and Meetings and who train to maintain always a good level of professionalism, to serve at the best our sport. The referees have the great responsibility to study the rules, to learn and to apply them in all the difficult and always competitive situations of a race, so their decisions must be respected. In any case if an athlete doesn’t agree with the decision of a referee can make an appeal following the rules that are written and must be respected, as must be respected the referees who sometimes have to take unpopular decisions. This happens in all sports and if everybody has a look to a weekend of races can observe that.
3. The conclusion
The ISMF and our sport are in a very delicate moment. The decision of the PA to aspire to make our sport part of the most important sporting events in the world requires to all of us great concentration and attention to many aspects and the respect of the rules is one of them. The sad episode of last Saturday should not be repeated…
On the other hand ISMF is always working, through the committee and its members, on the improvement and on the assessment of the system: the Federation is also open to any discussion resulting from a responsible and fair confrontation and not from protest which is never carried out in the sport’s sake.
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